MELROSE— After a lengthy and extensive negotiation, the School Committee unanimously voted on Jan. 19 to ratify a new contract with the Melrose Education Association.

“The Melrose School Committee is proud to report this that it unanimously approved the Melrose Education Association Unit A (Teachers) Memorandum of Agreement, to be codified in contract for the period July 1, 2022–June 30, 2025,” said School Committee Chair Margaret Driscoll in a statement. “We believe that this strong contract will enable Melrose to continue to recruit and retain high-quality educators who serve all students.”

Driscoll said educators will be receiving 2 percent raises for each year of the contract. She also said teachers will be receiving “additional market adjustments” of 1 percent for the first year of the pact, and 1.5 percent for years two and three for “a total 10 percent increase across the contract’s term.”

Additionally, Driscoll said the contract will provide “increased preparation and planning time at the elementary level and daily preparation time at the secondary level, as well as more collaborative scheduling mechanisms.” She also said the contract will be updating the “entry process for elementary students, allowing for a rolling ten minutes before class starts.”

Driscoll said additional time will be provided to educators to “set up their classrooms and prepare for the start of the school year.” She also said the contract calls for developing and implementing a “new teacher evaluation system and rubric.”

According to Driscoll, the teachers’ contract includes “important updates to parental, bereavement and small necessities leave.” Driscoll said there will be “multiple new co-curricular activity stipends for a variety of clubs and activities, as well as new indoor track and outdoor track assistant coach positions and stipends.”

Driscoll said teachers will also be receiving “an additional noon release day before April vacation week.”

“These new contractual agreements come on top of step and lane salary increases, substantial city contributions to health insurance and more, ensuring the Melrose Public Schools continue to provide the most supportive compensation package possible within the fiscal means of the city,” said Driscoll. “As we continue to come out of a global pandemic, we have collective good work ahead to accelerate learning, address social-emotional challenges, support each other and much more.

“It is the goal of the Melrose Public Schools, in partnership with our wonderful educators, to do this with learning at the forefront: the joy of reading and expression of writing, the surprise of scientific discovery, the reward of solving a challenging math problem, a deep awareness of history, cultures and languages, and achievements in sports, music and the arts,” Driscoll continued. “Supporting the curious minds of children and young adults is why we all come to this work, and why we come together, at the end of the day, to celebrate the unique gifts and talents of every Melrose student.”